3 out of 4 stars
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Terror’s Identity by Sarah Maury Swan follows the life of Aiden Knox and his family. When a terrorist group is after them due to his father’s secret service job, he must leave his old life behind and take on a new identity. Their deaths’ were staged in Illinois to throw the terrorist off their trail and they move to an industrial town of Dundalk, Maryland. The story describes the struggle of having an absentee father; his work keeping him away while Aiden has to fit into the role of being the man of the family and protecting both his mother and sister. It also shows the pressure of fitting in at a new school with a completely different identity and trying to keep all the family secrets hidden so that the terrorist can’t find them. As if, being a teenager, having to deal with a new identity and having terrorist after him wasn’t enough he has to deal with a teacher/coach who is trying to brainwash him into a religion he doesn’t want to follow and may have succeeded with his sister, Maya. Around/Outside of school a beautiful Arabian girl named Basilah and a green car are following Aiden. Aiden realizes that the terrorist group might be closer than his family knows and that the old saying, “you should never judge a book by its cover” is true.
There were many things I like about this story. The author accurately shows the struggle of being teenager and making mistakes especially when it could lead to your family being killed. She also shows you should always be faithful to yourself no matter what identity you have to take on. I also like Aiden’s character; how all he wants to have is a normal life, not have to lie to everyone around him, and he stands up for what he believes is right even though everybody else was afraid to. He also doesn’t try to tell anyone else what beliefs or religion they should follow because he thinks it’s more important to understand that there is no right answer.
There’s not a lot that I disliked about the book. There was one thing that I found confusing; the FBI investigated that the family’s next location is without a terrorist cell but they should still be careful not to lead the terrorist there. The town was having problems that should have alerted them to problems like people’s identity/bank information being stolen and realizing it was already a stronghold for them. When Aiden meets Basilah she lied and said she was in his class; it was never really explained why she did that. Also, the ending left some questions unanswered and felt rushed into being finished. There was not anything else that I disliked about the book.
I think readers would enjoy this young adult novel. It has a bit of everything from crime, romance, educational and religion. It was also an easy read and an interesting storyline that I think readers would find enjoyable. I like how readers can relate to what Aiden is going through because people can empathize with their parents’ decisions effecting their own life and the struggle he has to go through at a time when you are finding/learning about yourself.
I rate this a 3 out of 4 stars. I’m giving it this rating because even though I enjoyed the story there were a few parts that were confusing or questions were left unanswered. I found no spelling or grammatical errors while reading. I would recommend this book to readers interested in reading young adult novels.
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